Democrats, Republicans like Obama ‘Post’ poll

Following visit, poll reveals Israelis have positive view on US president's political leanings yet still believe he's not "pro-Israel.'

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 31, 2013 06:17
1 minute read.
Obama waves as he steps aboard Air Force One

Obama waves as he steps aboard Air Force One 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Both Democrats and Republicans expressed satisfaction over the weekend with the results of a Smith Research poll published in Friday’s Jerusalem Post about how Israelis see the administration of US President Barack Obama.

The poll, which was picked up by wire services and made news around the world, found that the percentage of Israelis who consider the Obama administration more pro- Palestinian than pro-Israel fell by a whopping 20 percent since another survey taken just before the visit.

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But the number of Israelis who consider the administration more pro-Israel than pro- Palestinian rose by only one percentage point, despite what was billed as Obama’s “charm offensive” to reach out to citizens of the Jewish state.

The National Jewish Democratic Council and the pro-Republican Emergency Committee for Israel both claimed victory and spun the numbers in favor of their agenda.

“I’ve been in Israel since before President Obama arrived and was in the convention center for the extremely well-received speech,” NJDC interim executive director Aaron Keyak said. “The Israeli public has reacted very positively to the president’s visit and his message that the United States has Israel’s back. President Obama sent this message to the Israeli people and made sure it was heard by those who seek to destroy our way of life and the Jewish state of Israel.

This poll is just the latest example of how clearly that strong message was heard.”

Emergency Committee for Israel executive director Noah Pollak said he was not surprised that only one percent of Israelis were persuaded by the visit that the Obama administration was more pro- Israel than pro-Palestinian.



“President Obama said some good, long-overdue things – but he continued blaming Israel for the failure of the peace process,” Pollak said. “Why did he lecture Israelis on peace but not Palestinians? Why did he demand that Israelis see things from the Palestinians’ perspective, but not the other way around? Why didn’t he admonish the Palestinian people to demand that their leaders pursue peace, as he did the Israelis? Israelis know that Obama, at bottom, still promotes key aspects of the Palestinian narrative of the conflict.”

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